Recap of Pro Bono Workshop

On April 23rd more than two dozen FPA MN members and their guests attended a workshop hosted by the Pro Bono Committee to educate local planning practitioners about how they can best serve members of the military and their families.

The presenter John Bergstrom, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, CDFA, a fellow member of our chapter and Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy (Reserves), outlined the urgent need for financial planning in military households. He provided specific guidance regarding the pay and benefits available through the armed services, but also highlighted many services and resources available through local and national not-for-profit organizations.

A number of military service members in the audience provided additional clarification and commentary related to little-known aspects of military pay and benefits while Molly Sullivan, a personal financial counselor working with military families, requested assistance from attendees in providing Pro Bono consultations to service members located outside of the Twin Cities metro.

I’ve personally found that the educational workshops and volunteer opportunities I’ve participated in through the Pro Bono Committee have been not only personally rewarding, but have also helped me to further expand and hone my professional tool kit. In particular, attending last month’s session opened my eyes to the immense opportunity that the financial planning community has to provide much-needed support to the over 7% of the American population that is either currently serving or has previously served in the military.

I strongly encourage those who may have experience or interest in working with service members and their families to seek out the Pro Bono committee to discuss ways that you can be a part of giving back to those who have given so much.